Why Ads Campaigns are an irrelevant way to validate your idea
4 min read
Taking the advice of some of the more experienced builders in the community recently I decided to start experimenting with one approach to validate an idea.
Pick an idea, create a landing page, set up an Ads campaign, and see if you get a good amount of leads for it. If you gain some traction, in 7 days and not spend more than x-money, then most probably you have a market. Just like fishing, you put a bait and wait patiently.
I had two ideas that are rolling in my mind for some time, so I decided to test them out. The final verdict: it’s not worth it.
The reason is that this approach has so many variables that can impact that process and that can leave you confused about what you did wrong. The learning potential will be summarized only to you learning how to run Facebook Ads, but if the project fails you would not know if it failed because of you sucking at creating a landing page, optimizing your copy, or running Facebook Ads campaign.
The process is described as follows:
» Have an Idea » Create a Landing page » Run Ads » Collect Leads
Each of these steps can be a week of work, but I did it over a weekend. Actually, I did it on a Saturday evening.
The first part of having an idea was done months ago. I wanted to try out a very niched-down job board meant for women, that are mothers, that are willing to return to the workforce.
Is there a market for such a product? I bet. You reach out to 10 recruiters and you'll fill your board with at least 50 job opportunities suitable for the targetted niche. The problem is distribution, but you get the idea.
The variables in this part are:
do you have an audience?
is there a validated market?
is there a niche?
how wide it is?
does anyone need this product?
The landing page
I created the landing page with MailerLite. It's a great product. You can even run your page on their free tier without a custom domain. In my case, I wanted to use a custom domain, so I went to their first paid tier, which is still fairly affordable.
Long story short, with the help of ChatGPT, Figma, and Canva, I did the landing page in 1 hour.
This is the webpage and as you see it doesn't have a favicon.
The variables here are:
are you good at creating a marketing page?
are you good at sales?
did you use the proper copy (did you optimize it properly)?
Here comes the tricky part. Learning Facebook Ads took me additional 3 days. It's not as easy as some people like to make it look. After watching a few 3h videos from people established in the marketing community, I got it! Even now, I can run a Facebook Ads campaign for whatever idea or reason I want. That is great as a learning process. The problem? I most definitely blew the configuration.
And that is what you will end up with too. There are so many options and so many tweaks that if there weren't, everybody would have been a Facebook Ads pro that could charge for it.
The margin to do mistakes here is so large that you are better off paying someone on Fiverr or Upwork to do it for you, as the chance for them to screw you up over the one you screw things up, would still be much smaller.
what Ads platform? (Facebook? Reddit? Google? TikTok?)
what is your budget?
what is the configured target group?
The results: Over 7 days I got 12 leads out of 300 visits. That translates to 4% conversion, which for a weekend project is not bad. But if you add Ads to the equation it's terrible.
7 out of 12 leads were recruiters. Why? Because Facebook Ads were showing to a significant number of Recruiters even though they have not been part of my selected target group. Kill me if I know why.
I don't trust my results because they can be affected by so many factors. The reasons are vague. I would be more than happy to learn from someone that has done this successfully in this way, in particular, what mistakes I did.
My biggest learning is: it's possible to do it if you learn and reiterate all of these steps repeatedly, but please don't make it look THAT easy. It affects builders' health.